Brooklyn residents complain neighborhood Shabbat siren 'too loud'

ByCeFaan Kim WABC logo
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Brooklyn residents complain neighborhood Shabbat siren 'too loud'
CeFaan Kim has the story from Bed-Stuy.

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Blasting off every Friday night, signaling the beginning of Shabbat, a siren goes on for about 90 seconds - twice, about 15 minutes apart. Residents of a Brooklyn neighborhood say the ringing ears it causes can go on for days.

"It's an air siren, so it's the one we would hear if a bomb was coming," says Mary Davis.

"Like being in London during World War II and the Germans are coming to bomb London. It's really freaky," added Tamar Halperin.

Neighbors say the ear-popping siren was installed by Congregation Bais Yaakov Nechemia D'satmar on Myrtle Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant this summer.

Inspectors from the Department of Environmental Protection issued a violation recently. Residents say a worker measured the noise at 106 decibels. That's about as loud as a helicopter landing nearby, or a chainsaw.

"I run to the back of my apartment...because it's so loud and painful. I mean, I have headaches for days afterwards. There are people in the building who are buying those ear guards that people wear for shooting firearms," says Aaron Graubart.

Neighbors say they've tried to meet with the head rabbi to resolve this amicably, but no luck, so they've filed repeated complaints with 311 and the community board.

Residents say this is not about gentrification - Graubart has been here for ten years, and the sire just went up.

"I come from a Jewish family myself. Not a particularly religious one, I'll say that. But you know, like I said, everyone has the freedom to live their life how the choose to live it. This isn't about religion," adds Graubart.

There is a DEP hearing to hopefully settle this matter, scheduled on November 22nd.

When Eyewitness News asked synagogue officials for their side, they told us they are not familiar with this issue.